Blizzard Entertainment recently announced their partnership with USAopoly, developers of the upcoming Monopoly®: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft®. I managed to blow the cover a couple days earlier as you might have seen in WoW Insider. (Mea Culpa)
Video camera in hand my first target to visit at the Toy Fair 2012 New York today was the USAopoly booth # 2822.
To my detriment, the USAopoly booth is a closed expo. You can’t walk in and view at your leisure. You will be guided by a representative like a one-on-one tour where you will be able to ask questions or hear the representative explain the board games’ concept. Take notes, folks. Attendees can talk to the lady at the front desk. She will either provide you an appointment, or you can wait outside. They have two tables with chairs and two TVs to wait for the next available representative to tour you through their products.
Jeanette presented me before one of the product representatives — Adam Sblendorio (USAopoly Art Director) — who filled me in on all I had to know about the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft®.
MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft®
First question I threw his way and something you should know when you visit the closed booth: You can’t take photos or video.
That said, I witnessed before me the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game in all its glory. It was spread open on a table, and I could see its packaging box nearby standing on a display. Back in the 80s when I was a kid — and that was a long time ago — the MONOPOLY games were made of cardboard, and they used to wear off after a while and break in half over time. The MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game is glued on a strong rubber mat material about 1/4 thick. That tells you this product will be long-lasting, and worth its price.
The product I saw before me was astonishing. It’s built with great materials. The World of Warcraft artwork simply makes you drool. Something the representative wanted me to tell you guys is that the entire artwork of the board was developed by Blizzard Entertainment: that is — the board game artwork (each individual square, and the artwork at the center of the board), the cards, and the pieces are designed by the Blizzard Art Team. The only thing that can not be changed in the board game are the four corners which are part of the MONOPOLY brand.
I could see several Azeroth locations in each of the squares of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game. The ones I can remember are: Stormwind, Ironforge, Dark Portal, Icecrown, Twilight Highlands, Gnomeregan, Tanaris, Un’Goro Crater, Silithus, Nagrand, Terokkar Forest, Shadowmoon Valley and other areas of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms and Outland — just to name a few. There will be one or two elements from Mists of Pandaria in this board. One I know of is one of the pieces which fans will be able to vote on.
Something the director of marketing Jeanette Best wanted me to emphasize to our visitors is that [You] the fan will decide which of the ten options for the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft pieces will be the final pieces to ship with this board game. You can vote via Facebook here.
I really look forward to show you photos of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game when we are able to review it around May 2012 or Summer 2012. Once you look the artwork on this board, you will fall in love with it as I did.
I have never played RISK before, but I’m certain this board game is going to be very popular among StarCraft fans. There’s actually dozens of StarCraft RISK UMS maps in Battle.net. Seeing RISK: StarCraft will make many an old-school StarCraft player wish to give this board game a try.
The representative could only show me the box art. The product is still in development, and even the box shown at the USAopoly booth might change a bit as it’s not final. Next to the display where I saw the RISK®: StarCraft® box, was a open board game of RISK: Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition. It has several pieces, and cards.
The representative told me Blizzard Entertainment wants these licensed board games to be easy to understand and accessible to everyone in the family. The RISK®: StarCraft® is developed to be like classic RISK. The Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition is too complex and customized for that license for example. Making the RISK®: StarCraft® like classic RISK, makes it so even your grandmother will understand the rules.
To give you an idea, here is a photo of the Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition as seen in the USAopoly website.
The RISK®: StarCraft® board game can be played by 2-6 players. There will be two heroes per race — including Kerrigan the Queen of Blades and Jim Raynor. I asked, and there won’t be elements of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in this board considering the expansion is not yet out. However, it’s based on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
These products will be on sale on May 2012. Blizzplanet will have the opportunity to review this product, and Jeanette will be in contact about giveaway copies for our visitors. Stay tuned.
Note: Those who die to see the Epic Weapons Doomhammer LARP Replica — USAopoly is showing off one right on top of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft board game.
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